Heaven has often been thought of as a place, separate from the earth—a future, highly desirable, and final residential area for the righteous. It has also been thought to be God's residence, where He has complete control and where His will is universally done. Anyone reaching there, it is believed, is certain to find complete happiness. This contrasts with life on earth, where there are many hardships and much unhappiness, and God's will is often ignored.

Christ Jesus changes this picture for those who accept and understand his words. He has given mankind a new concept of heaven. Heaven, he pointed out, is not a separate location to which one might move at a certain stage in his experience. It is a present reality, a divine state of consciousness. "The kingdom of God is within you," Luke 17:21; he told the questioning Pharisees.

Heaven, free from unhappiness and misery, is not an illusion. Quite the contrary. The seeming misfortunes and pains of earthly existence are the illusions—temporal beliefs. God's loving care and harmony are evident throughout His entire creation, if we would only see it. Mrs. Eddy states these words clearly in giving the spiritual sense of the Lord's Prayer:

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February 28, 1976

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